Texas Tech Athletics Releases Internal Review of Softball Program
The Texas Tech softball program took a hit last week after head coach Adrian Gregory resigned after the completion of an internal investigation into the program. Texas Tech has now released that internal review of the program that led to the events of last week.
The review was conducted following the firing of Lady Raider head coach Marlene Stollings, who was fired for cause on August 6th, 2020 following an explosive story from USA Today. Texas Tech says the internal review of the softball program took place from August 20th to September 21st. It reviewed concerns brought forward by student-athletes and a situation surrounding an assistant coach who resigned mid-season.
The review was conducted by four faculty and staff members of Texas Tech. It included one member of the athletic department and three from outside of it.
"When information comes forward in regards to concerns with student-athletes or any of our athletic programs we conduct our due diligence to determine the appropriate course of action," said Hocutt in a statement on texastech.com. "From the review, we received some additional perspectives and some new information that led us to an understanding that it was in the best interest for both sides for Adrian Gregory to step down as head softball coach."
In the internal investigation, two racially charged incidents were investigated. One, which was highlighted in the USA Today piece last week, involved a former player being told to wear her hair up. Once the player told the coach her reasoning for wearing her hair down, Gregory allowed the player to do so.
The second event happened when Gregory was not present. A black student-athlete was told by a student-athlete. According to the report, "The Black student-athlete was told by a coach to move ahead in the line so she could go work on a different skill after hitting. The White student-athlete then made a comment to the Black student-athlete telling her, 'Get to the back of the line Rosa [Parks].'"
After this happened the players held a players-only meeting and the player who made the comment apologized to the black student-athlete. Gregory then met with some of the black players on the team separately to discuss the event and thought the incident was behind the team.
The internal review concludes with a statement from former Texas Tech coach Adrian Gregory: "As a head coach, I am responsible for the culture of my softball team. I have been a part of programs with amazing cultures and a part of programs that struggled. Culture can also turn quickly, which is how I would describe my experience at Texas Tech University."
Hocutt added that as an athletic department they "strive to be transparent in our administration and operation of Texas Tech Athletics."
Following the internal review of the softball department and the situation involving the women's basketball program, Texas Tech is now working with Holland & Knight LLP to conduct an overall assessment of the well-being of student-athletes within the athletic department at Texas Tech. The review is expected to be completed in 2021.
This study is being paid for by the office of Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec. “Kirby Hocutt is dedicated to our student-athletes, and has created a culture that values their health, safety and well-being,” said Schovanec. “Kirby recommended this independent assessment to ensure we are taking every necessary measure to maximize the student-athlete experience, and make the athletic department even stronger in the years to come.”